No. 3 Pepperdine Men's Volleyball Beats No. 8 USC In Five Sets

    Lucas Yoder

    April 5, 2014


    Josh Taylor had 18 kills and 6 digs to lead the No. 3-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team to a hard-fought 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 14-25, 15-11 win over No. 8 USC in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday (April 5) in Malibu.

    The Waves improved to 16-6 overall and in the MPSF, while the Trojans fell to 16-10 overall and 14-10 in their regular season finale.

    The Trojans now await the conclusion of MPSF play this week and next to see if they are among 8 teams that will qualify for the MPSF tournament. There are numerous scenarios for USC to gain an MPSF tourney berth, but the most direct way is for Hawaii to lose one of its final three matches.

    Pepperdine posted 16.5 blocks in the match to USC's 8.0. Both teams hit at a near-equal clip, with the Waves at .267 to Troy's .260.

    Lucas Yoder led USC with 18 kills, while Andy Benesh had 11 kills (hitting .500) and Henry Cassiday had 15 digs.

    Matt Tarantino had 11 blocks for the Waves and Matt West had 12 digs.

    Pepperdine used an 8-0 run in the first set to build an 18-11 lead and never looked back while hitting .500. The Trojans scored 3 consecutive points in the second set to go up 10-7 and Pepperdine could never recover. A 4-0 run by the Waves in the third set broke a 10-10 tie and USC couldn't catch up as Pepperdine hit .500. USC jumped to an early 4-1 edge in the fourth set and never gave up the lead. Back-to-back points early in the final set put Pepperdine up, 5-3, and proved to be all the margin it would need.

    USC plays an exhibition match against its alumni on April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center. The MPSF tourney begins the following week.